If you were to list, say, the hundred things that have changed for baby boomers since we were just kids — maybe even the thousand things — you might not include your medicine cabinet. But for BoomerCafé contributor Erin O’Brien of Redondo Beach, California, that one goes right near the top of the list. Not because times have changed, but because … um … we have.
When I was just a young baby boomer, I used to open the medicine chest to look for three things inside: my toothbrush, a tube of Gleem toothpaste (with tasty green sparkles), and my imaginary friend, Callie.
Nowadays, the shelves of the medicine chest resemble the closet, as my facial care products slowly encroach upon my husband’s personal space. There’s the micellar water, Vitamin E oil, purifying mask, skin brightening scrub, toner, antioxidant serum, hydrating lotion, eye cream, broad spectrum sunscreen, and of course all the free samples, aiding me in my quest for youth. There’s no room inside for an imaginary friend!
I think it’s a conspiracy by the personal care products industry to make women feel as insecure as possible in order to convince us to purchase their products. Crow’s feet, age spots, unwanted hair, wanted hair, the wrong color hair, and the dreaded visible panty lines are all to be feared.
Imagine walking into the drug store and filling your basket with personal hygiene items. It sounds like a fraternity hazing scheme. But trust me, I’ve been there. (“Please don’t do a price check on the tongue scraper,” I plead with the cashier, “just name your price!”)
I envy the ease of my husband’s morning routine which basically includes a comb and a toothbrush, like he’s going camping. Or, as a friend’s dad says of his routine, “The three S’s: shit, shower, and shave.”
When I was in my twenties I gave my boss gifts of Geritol, Grecian formula, and Poligrip for his thirtieth birthday.
Oh, to be thirty again. Or forty. Or to open my medicine chest and only see a tube of toothpaste, my toothbrush, and my imaginary friend, Callie.